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tv   MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin  MSNBC  December 28, 2017 10:00am-11:00am PST

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that does it for this edition of andrea mitchell reports. i'm see you back here tonight for hard ball. craig melvin is up knicks here on msnbc. >> craig melvin here at msnbc headquarters in new york. liar? reports of a new strategy from the trump legal team in the russia investigation. they plan to paint former ally turned star witness michael flynn as a liar. plus, last ditch effort. the final push from the roy moore campaign to stop his opponent now just hours before his win becomes official.
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and i.r. mess. we're seeing confusion and anger from people who are paying next year's tax bill, property tax bill now. many are trying to take strange of a tax break that's about to change because of a republican tax plan. we'll get to those stories in just a moment. we start with a new legal strategy from president trump's team. this is according to "the washington post." they report that trump's legal team will attack the credibility of former national security adviser mike flynn. and perhaps the biggest development to date in the special counsel's russia investigation. flynn pled guilty to lying to the fbi exactly four weeks ago tomorrow. this is what one unnamed person who is said to have crafted this new strategy told "the post" about flynn. quote, he said it himself, he's a liar. two reports now. msnbc's garrett haake following the president in west palm beach florida. and karen tamalte, national political reporter for "the
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washington post." before we get to "the post" story, the white house has responded, i understand, garrett, what are they saying? >> in a short but sweet statement from one of the president's attorneys, craig, they're calling this complete nonsense and fake news. pushing back about as hard as they can against "the post" reporting in this case, saying that there's no such strategy under discussion at the white house. it could be any number of reasons why they would say that and perhaps it's true, perhaps they don't want michael flynn thinking he's about to get rolled over on by the white house, should he decide to speak strongly to robert mueller about what he knows or doesn't know. perhaps they'd rather just have this floated out there as a warning to michael flynn. it's also problematic if they do go this route in part because of all the positive and understanding and just good things the president has had to say about michael flynn, even after firing him. here's a sampling. >> michael flynn, general flynn,
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is a wonderful man. i think he's been treated very, very unfairly by the media. what he did wasn't wrong. what he did in terms of the information he saw. when i looked at the information, i said, i don't think he did anything wrong. if anything, he did something right. he was just doing his job. this man has served for many years. he's a general. he's, my opinion, a very good person. well, i feel badly for general flynn, i feel very badly. he's led a very strong life. >> so there's a little bit of the president essentially boosting michael flynn's credibility. if it comes down to a he said/he said, it's not as though this president doesn't have a host of statements in which he has been caught in untruths. i think we can show you just some of the headlines where we and other news organizations have fact checked the president or he's come right out and said something that was objectively
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untrue. so penitential battle of credibility between michael flynn and president trump doesn't look good for anybody and potentially something the white house would like to avoid. >> karen, what has prompted what would appear to be a new approach to the mueller investigation? >>. [ inaudible ] >> karen, i hear you just fine but apparently we're having some sort of issue with your audio that we're working on there. while we try to get that fixed. garrett, what's the word on what the president's doing there at mar-a-lago today? >> craig, once again, for i think the third day in a row now, every day except christmas day itself, the president is at his golf course as we speak.
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the white house, once again, not confirming explicitly that he is, in fact, golfing. he was spotted by poolers dressed in golf attire, at his course just a few miles from mar-a-lago. he's also been tweeting. interesting mix from the president's twitter feed. everything from attacking the "vanity fair" magazine for a video piece they did about hillary clinton and a subsequent walkback. talking about retail excitement in the economy. to talking about a touchy subject. a question of whether the chinese might be allowing or look the other way for oil supplies to be smuggled to the north koreans. a sort of one-off tweet about an hour and a half ago now from the president about the world's hottest of hot spots potentially, north korea. remember this white house has made a big deal about leaning on china to try to get them to do more to stop their economically dependent neighbors, the north koreans, from developing their
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nuclear technology, their ballistic missile technology. if, indeed, the report, which have been airing quite regularly on fox news and other air waves about possible smuggling. that would be a violation of u.n. sanctions. a big deal for the short tweet from the president for the lengths. >> going back to general flynn and the russian investigation here, what would prompt -- what would appear to be this new approach to the investigation and how the trump legal team is going to treat general flynn? >> well, their a proech has been all along that they are fully cooperating with the investigation itself. but on december 1st, we got a gigantic piece of news. when general flynn pleaded guilty to a relatively minor charge. the assumption throughout washington, and you have to assume this, the assumption by the president's legal team, is
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that this plea deal was part of a deal where he is providing information to the prosecution. now, general flynn is a very key character here. he was with the president almost through the entirety of the campaign. outside the president's own family, he was one of his very closest advisers. so presumably if there is anything to know with regard to this investigation about any sort of actions by the president himself, by his family, general flynn would be a likely person to have that information. >> the president's legal team has insisted for some time now they believe the special counsel is going to wrap up this investigation quickly. does this new strategy now mean that perhaps changing his mind on the timetable? >> yes, that is also something that is suggested by this. it looks like they are hunkering in for what potentially could be a pretty long haul here. >> karen tamalty, "washington
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post," thank you. for more now on another segment of the mueller investigation, michael isikopf with yahoo! news and chuck rosenberg, former u.s. attorney, senior fbi official, now an msnbc contributor. mike, let's start with you and the new reporting. mueller's prosecutors have started questioning republican national committee staffers about the party's digital operation that worked with the trump campaign to target voters in key swing states. why? >> well, look, this has been a subject of intense scrutiny for some time. we've learned over the course of this year from the various investigations on the hill, about the extensive social media effort by the russians. those facebook ads. the twitter bots. all of which was largely invisible during the 2016 election. this, the u.s. intelligence
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committee has very little insight into what is going on. there was very little public notice. there's been suspicions for some time as to whether the russians would have been sophisticated enough in their knowledge of american politics to know how to target facebook ads and twitter feeds. so it is not surprising that mueller, given the broad mandate he's got, would be taking a look at this. and this is a very murky area from the sources i've talked to. it doesn't necessarily add up to collusion in the sense in which you and i might think of it. there's this whole area of data brokers who sell and buy voter information on the web. sell it to campaigns that want it. yeah, i think what mueller is looking at here is what prosecutors were looking at, is
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whether or not these data brokers may have done business with the russians. the russians may have bought or sold data to them. and that somehow led its way into the digital campaigns during the election. >> mike, you also tie this development to one possible reason that jared kushner is searching for a new crisis pr firm. explain that. >> well, look, jared kushner was the guy in charge of the digital operation. so if this is an area of scrutiny by mueller, it is not surprising that his very able counsel, abby lowell, would be looking down the road and expecting a lot more media inquiries to be coming his way. they're looking for some sort of crisis communication firm. >> chuck, president trump, meanwhile, has been working to undermine the credibility of the fbi. all this month, we've seen tweets hammering the bureau.
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in particular top officials with ties to james comey. put it all together for us. what do these new reports and the president's attacks on the fbi taken together what do they tell you? >> well, there's a couple of things going on here, craig. the first thing i want to say is that the fbi is a strong and good place. decent men and women trying really harded to get stuff right. and so the attacks may matter in a political sense. but in a legal sense, they really don't mean a thing at all. let me tell you what i mean. if a case ends up in federal district court, a judge and a jury are going to look at the facts and decide whether or not someone broke the law. and these attacks from outside aren't going to make their way into federal district court. it's a bit of a distraction. in a political arena, in congress, for instance, maybe these attacks have some meaning. but not in the environment in which bob muler er mueller is >> there's a lot of theories about what this deal means for
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the investigation. some say it's a sweetheart deal which means general flynn may have a lot to offer. others say no, that this deal means that mueller only has a strong case on the false stap statements but not much else. where do you stand? >> i stand in the middle. here's why. there's a lot of accusations flying around that michael flynn may have participated in the plot to kidnap a cleric living in pennsylvania and to remove him to turkey. we have no idea if that's true. for instance. and so saying he got a sweetheart deal because he wasn't charged with kidnapping is just a bridge too far. we're going to have to wait. we're going to have to be patient. we're going to see what facts are at his sentencing and at other trials before, you know, whether or not this particular deal is a sweetheart deal. that said, craig, he's still pleading guilty to a felony. that's going to be with him for rest of his life. he's agreed to cooperate. the zero to six month range of
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sentence that is stated in the plea, that comes right from the federal sentencing guidelines. and driven in large part because general flynn doesn't have a criminal record. so all of these things that people are using to say it's a sweetheart deal may not even be right in the end. >> chuck rosenberg, mike isikopf, happy new year, gentlemen. >> same to you. defeated but not done. how roy moore and sassy as well are trying to stop doug jones from heading to washington hours ahead of a key deadline. plus, tax law confusion. the lines are long in several states with people trying to pay next year's property tax bill right now. we ask them why. >> why? because with the new tax law, because if we don't, we'll get screwed. >> with the tax changes, i figured i'd take the chance i can make our real estate taxes deductible this year so i just emptied much of my savings account. yeah, now i'm broke.
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doug jones victory in alabama will be official within the next hour. that's despite a last minute effort by roy moore to block that certification. that's when alabama secretary of state is expected to certify results of this month's special election. jones won that election by more than 20,000 votes as you can see there. moore filing the lawsuit late last night, blaming his loss on what he calls systemic voter fraud. a spokesman for the jones campaign responded a short time ago, saying, quote, this desperate attempt by roy moore to subvert the will of the people will not succeed. the election is over. it's time to move on. i'm joined now by former florida congressman david jolly and also msnbc contributor and host of the remix on whiy radio in philadelphia, james peterson. david, alabama secretary of state john merrill has already
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said he sees no evidence of voter fraud. here are some numbers to crunch here. some more numbers. more than 1.3 million people cast votes. in order for a recount to be triggered, the race had to have been decided by less than .5%. about 6,700 votes. do moore and his supporters really think they can get this election turned around or is this merely a political ploy? >> i think roy moore continues to show just what a terrible candidate he was. and the reality is by contesting this, he continues to push this narrative of how entitled he felt as a republican. we can't overlook the fact that this was also trump's republican party. we know the similarities between roy moore and donald trump. this notion that facts don't matter. and if the facts don't matter, then there's no accountability. what you see right now in roy moore to take jeff flake's adjectives of the weekend are
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the last remaining spasms of the roy moore republican brand in alabama. the alabama voters spoke. they chose a candidate other than roy moore. roy moore is being a very sore loser right now. doug jones will be certified very shortly. >> james, there have been a number of folks here over past week or two who have said, you know, the voter i.d. laws in alabama, we know that those laws have been changed over the past few years. critics had indicated that those laws would have made it more difficult for african-american voters especially. folks are now saying that -- take a look at alabama. voter i.d. laws don't appear to have affected turnout there. what do you say to that? >> oh, i say they should sit down and be quiet, craig, because the reality is that voter turnout of african-american voters in the state of alabama is in spite of voter i.d. laws and other tactics they use in the south and other states across this nation to disenfranchise poor
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folks and people of color. so it's in spite of that that people were able to come out. it's also interesting to know here that the sort of underlying dog whistle and roy moore's last gasp here is that supposed to be voter fraud committed by african-americans in alabama, so it's sort of consistent with the entire messaging around the politician he's been, consistent with some of the challenges we see across the nation with access to polls. we should not take alabama as some kind of indication we still don't have a lot of challenges around disenfranchisement in the african-american community. >> james what happened if roy moore never concedes? if he continues even after doug jones is seated, continues to insist that this election was stolen? >> well, politically, nothing will happen. they'll certify doug jones. doug jones will be seated as the congressman from alabama. what happens is roy moore's core supporters will live this sort
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of fact free existence. they'll continue to rally around him. his tight circle will rally around him. it will only politically sort of erode his sense, people's sense of him in the state of alabama. it can't do anything in terms of the actual larger political game about what happens in the senate. >> a lot of folks are already looking to tennessee where you've got a popular governor who's a democrat, appears to be making some inroads there. some folks looking at mississippi as well. how worried should republicans be going into 2018 in midterm elections? >> they should be very worried. donald trump likes to tweet out that, you know, republicans have done very well in the special elections. and that's true. but what it's overlooking is how the deck has been stacked in so many of those races. consider alabama, one of the reddest states where a democrat actually won. look at virginia which is a purple state where democrats won. new jersey democrats should have held it. in georgia when we had the race,
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should have been favored by several points. what we see in all of those races, which does not appear in the final results yet but will in '18, is that all of the energy is on left. the left is dying to get out and vote and to send a message in november '18. all we're seeing on right is apathy right now. >> if there's so much energy on left, why is that not translated in terms of fund-raising? the most recent numbers indicate the rnc has outperformed the dnc in terms of fund-raising by a significant margin. why is that? >> well, because i think when you look at the institutional parties in d.c., both parties are similarly divided. republicans are certainly divided. democrats are equally divided. who is the leader of the democratic party right now nationally. who's the voice. we don't know. but what i point you to is look at the race. look at the amount of grassroots money that went into the race. the $50 million congressional
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race. look at the grassroots money that went direct to doug jones. that money's not going to washington. people are frustrated on both sides with political leadership in each party. but at the grassroots level, the energy and giving is there on left. >> we've enjoyed this conversation so much, we've decided to continue it. james peterson, david jolly, take a break for about 15, 20 minutes. i want to get you back to talk about some of the year's biggest political stories. meanwhile, tax offices have become the place to be in some blue states. how homeowners are trying to beat the system before the new republican tax law takes effect. plus, just as people in erie, pennsylvania, can start digging out of the snow, things are about to get a whole lot worse there and other places as well. whoooo.
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here are the top stories we're following on this thursday. a suicide bombing has killed 41 people in the afghanistan capital of kabul. isis has already claimed responsibility for that attack. detonating their explosives in the basement. a cording to interior ministry spokesman there, the attack took place during a gathering to mark the 38th anniversary of the soviet union invasion of afghanistan. the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty has dropped to its second lowest mark in more than 50 years. this year, 128 officers lost
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their lives in the line of duty. that's compared to 143 in 2016. 44 were killed by gunfire. that's down 33% from the year before. traffic crashes were their leading cause of death. folks in erie, pennsylvania are literally still digging out from the record amounts of snowfall over the past four days. and there's more snow to come. forecasters now predict another 16 inches over the weekend. this has been the snowiest month in erie, pennsylvania, history, with more than 65 inches on the ground already. the previous record, you ask, 30 inches. republicans are hailing the recently passed tax reform legislation as much needed relief for the middle class. but for many working class americans, so far, it's causing a lot of confusion. several homeowners are rushing
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to prepay their 2018 property taxes. they're hoping to take advantage of a federal deduction that will be scaled back once the new law takes effect. but that payment may not be tax deductible after all. let's get some answers from cnbc contributor ron insana and cnbc's eric chimney who is in upstate new york where people are lined up to try and file these things early. ron, let me start with you. let me start with the basics here. what is this federal deduction that homeowners are trying to take advantage of before it gets scaled back? >> as of next year, you can no longer deduct all of your state and local income taxes and your property taxes combined. you can only deduct a total of $10,000. so if you live in a high tax state where your income taxes, your local taxes and your property taxes exceed $10,000, you'll only be able to deduct that latter amount. so some people are trying to front load those payments in order to claim the deduction for this year. something that's been call noodle question the last 24 hours by the irs. >> so we're now hearing that
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some of these homeowners who are trying to prepare their 2018 property tax, it may not be tax deductible after all. why would that be? >> the irs said you need to have your house either assess order reassessed this year and then pay the tax, the property taxes, in 2017. most municipalities have not gotten around to given hard assessments for 2018. they turned out some assessments at the end of the year. if you prepay the tax it won't be deductible. >> eric, i know you've been talking to some folks there. in upstate new york. what are they saying about all of this? >> so we're here in greenberg. you can see behind me lots of lines. it's been like this all day. people are happy that they're able to get in here right before the deadline with one day to go. some people are frustrated that they think the lines are too slow. they're mad at the government for rushing in this at the end of the year. it's a lot of confusion. even behind me, they're only
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able to pay some of the taxes because not all of the taxes have been assessed yet. i'm actually going to bring in right now paul finder, he's the supervisor of greenberg town, he's the one that set up here. how overwhelming has this been for your community to deal with this influx of people? >> well, it's been very overwhelming because the governor announced his executive order on friday and we have to set this all up within a matter of days, set up new computer program, you know, systems. some people had to cancel vacations. and really took a lot of work. we're in touch with the governor's office and counsel to the new york state tax department. we have to make sure we're doing everything right. because we don't want to take people's money and then people find that they advanced the money and it wasn't deductible. so we are being very conservative, fiscally conservative. >> that's one of the questions back at the studio, in some
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town, if people paid the wrong tax that they shouldn't have paid for, they might be due a refund from the town because the town never should have taken it. how are you dealing with that potential problem? >> we basically only are taking the town portion of the taxes and the prior portion of the taxes. we have the budgets were approved this year, within past few weeks, and we had a warrant, signed warrant, and that's what the counsel to the new york state, our tax department told us and the governor's office told us that we have to do. the communities in the area, we're accepting school taxes and county taxes, but without a warrant, it cannot be accepted and the school taxes can't be accepted because the budgets haven't been approved. >> so a lot of different kind of taxes. village tax, town taxes, county tax, state taxes. how much is going down political lines? the governor of new york state's
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a democrat. both of you trying to push for a lot of this prepayment. but the republican guy who runs westchester county, he did not give out the bills for people to pay their county taxes. is that because they weren't ready or because a republican is following the party agenda? >> because he wanted to make president trump happy and he was voted out of office and this was his parting shot at voters for throwing him out. i think if he had gotten elected, he probably would have had the lines. >> that's the town supervisor here in greenberg, in westchester county. i'll send it back to you guys in the studio. >> thank you, eric. ron, really quickly here, some advice perhaps to homeowners who might be watching or listening on sirius who are confused, not sure what to do. where's a good place for them to go and get some help? >> collier county, there are also some universities around the country that provide tax advise to low income families for free. you can call some of the tax
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preparing companies. they might charge you. they might be nice enough to answer without a charge. you have to talk to somebody who knows what's going on in your state. i'm sure in most states the governor's office will know because there's some governors who are allowing the citizens in their states to make these payments in advance of 2018. i would certainly google that part of it with respect to the states. or call an accountant that really knows the law right now. it is in flux. the one thing i will say is very few people have had enough prep time to even figure out the withholding tables for anybody on a salary next year. so it's going to be a little bit confusing not just this week but early into 2018 as well. >> personal question, and you don't have to answer if you don't want to. what are you going to do? >> you know, i've been an independent contractor for quite a long time now so with a limited liability corporation, my rules are different. i currently don't own a house so i don't have to worry about property taxes. i do live in new jersey so i have to worry about state income taxes. i'm not really not sure what my
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deductions are as an llc owner. so this say long conversation i'll be having with my accountant over the next several months. >> if ron insana's confused, there's no hope for any of us. >> taxes always confusing. >> thanks to you. hard sell. secretary of state rex tillerson defending his first year in office and he did it in the failing "new york times," believe it or not. also, president trump calling out china saying he caught them red handed letting oil into north korea. is an ama. but as you get older, it naturally begins to change, causing a lack of sharpness, or even trouble with recall. thankfully, the breakthrough in prevagen helps your brain and actually improves memory. the secret is an ingredient originally discovered... in jellyfish. in clinical trials, prevagen has been shown to improve short-term memory. prevagen. the name to remember.
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president trump firing off a new tweet a short time ago. quote, caught red handed. very disappointed that china is allowing oil to go into north korea. there will never be a friendly solution to the north korea problem if this continues to happen. let's go right to nbc news pentagon correspondent hans nichols. china being caught red handed here, hans. do we know what the president's talking about? >> well, in november, the treasury department did release some photos. it had some satellite imagery of chinese and north korean ships. the treasury department put those out in november. they were from october. what the president may be referring to here is there's a report in a south korean newspaper that, since october, there's over 30 exchanges of fuel at sea. now, this is so important, craig, because cutting off north korea's fuel supply is crucial to the u.s. strategy. they've always pressed for this
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in sanctions. the most recent round of sanctions for the rest of 2018, north korea's fuel supply, their refined petroleum, they want to bring that down to 500,000 barrels. but, craig, you look in general at the president's tweets on china and north korea, it's always a mixture between praise and prodding. remember back in july, he said china could easily solve this problem. he's always been very critical of china. at the same time, you have secretary of state rex tillerson writing today in "the new york times," it's a very china centered strategy. i think the only way to reconcile the president's tweets as well as secretary tillerson's op-ed is china remains the linchpin on this. >> there's also a new report revealing that north korea's making some pretty major strides in its sea-based missile technology. >> yes. >> what more have we learned about that? >> as "the washington post" reports, it goes back and traces a lot of the sea-based missiles
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north korea's potentially developing to the old soviet union. technology that's over 20 years old but still very refined. we haven't gotten independent confirmation from the pentagon on this story. in general, i would say, when you talk to folks at the pentagon, they're very consistent in saying that north korea has ambitions not just for intercontinental ballistic missiles, but also for sea-based. something they can fire with solid fuel from a submarine. they have the ambitions. as we've seen over and over again, when north korea has ambitions, they test, they trying to accomplish something. >> our man at the pentagon, hans nichols, hans, thanks as always, sir. from russia to the resistance and alternative facts. a look at 2017's biggest moments in politics. plus former president obama's my brother's keeper initiative getting some big-name support from steph curry and chance the rapper. >> i want you to know, you
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matter. there's nothing, not a single thing, that's more important to the future of america than whether or not young people all across this country can achieve their dreams. >> we're the ones to act. >> to bring ur unique gifts and talent. >> to make sure america lives up to its grand ideals for our children. >> and our neighbor's children. >> because our futures are all tied together. >> i am my brother's keeper. >> we are the ones. >> i am my brother's keeper. >> i am my brother's keeper. >> i am my brother's keeper. >> i'm my brother's keeper. >> and i want you to be too. hi, i'm the internet! you know what's difficult?
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this just in, the associated press reports an alabama judge has just denied roy moore's attempt to delay a final official vote count there in alabama. moore made that 11th hour attempt last night. he cited irregularities in the vote. that means that democrat doug jones is expected to become the senator-elect from alabama next hour. as we say farewell to 2017, a year that saw a mooch in the white house, alternative facts become part of our vernacular and an investigation into whether another country interfered with our election. nbc's peter alexen de ander wit look now at the top ten political moments of 2017. >> kicking off our list, the feud over facts. >> this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration
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period. >> sean spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts. >> a presidential pattern of misrepresenting the facts from unfounded accusations of wiretapping against president obama to revisionist history on electoral college claims. >> i was give than information. >> at number nine, the travel ban battle. >> we're going to have a very strict ban and we'll have a very extreme vetting. >> trump's executive order sparking nationwide protests. later scaled back in the courts, but then allowed to partially go into effect. at number eight, the republican civil war. >> i'm very disappointed in mitch. >> the president on the attack with republicans fighting back. >> i don't know what else there is to say today. >> mr. president, i rise today to say enough. >> and fighting each other. >> there's a special place in hell for republicans who should know better. >> he looked like some disheveled drunk that wandered in off the street. >> at number seven, racial
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tensions boiling over. this car plowed into a group of people killing one person. >> president trump taking heat for not taking sides. >> i think there's blame on both sides and i have no doubt about it. >> number six, west wing exits. >> michael flynn has resigned. >> priebus becomes the shortest serving white house chief of staff ever. >> a cascade of high profile white house departures. >> i am grateful for sean's work. >> i'm a businesspeople. >> anthony scarmucci kissing his communications job good-bye after just ten days. erasing the obama legacy at number five. >> i've been very active in overturning a number of executive actions by my predecessor. >> from the transpacific trade deal to the paris climate accord and of course to obama's signature law. >> we're now one step closer to liberating our citizens from
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this obamacare nightmare. >> although republicans failed to get that done, they did repeal the individual mandate. >> this is shameful. >> at number four, trump reshapes the courts. >> i, neil goresuch -- >> neil gore such as a justice. >> the senate has confirmed 12 trump nominees to the federal appeals court, a record for a president's first year in office. >> that has consequences 40 years out. >> at number three, massive tax cuts. >> we want to give you the american people a giant tax cut for christmas. >> president trump finally delivered his first major legislative win. >> this is nothing short of extraordinary. >> this is a great day for the country. >> it's the worst bill in the history of the united states congress. >> merry christmas, america. >> number two, allegations of sexual misconduct rocking the
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political world. >> at 14, i was not dating. he removed my clothing. he touched me over my clothing. >> i had emphatically denied time and time again. >> alabama voters delivering a scathing rebuke to roy moore as the me too movement takes its toll on washington. >> his lips were really wet and it was slimy. >> i remember very differently. >> i apologize to her, and i meant it. >> reporter: republicans and democrats accused, part of a national reckoning. >> i will be resigning as a member of the united states senate. >> reporter: and the number one political story of 2017, the russia investigation. >> no collusion. >> i think the president at his word that i was fired because of the russia investigation. >> director mueller is appropriately remaining within his scope. >> i did not collude with russia, nor do i know of anyone nels the campaign who did so. >> lock him up! >> michael flynn has just pleaded guilty to a charge of lying to the fbi. >> reporter: the president fuming as the special counsel zeros in on his west wing.
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>> no, russia did not help me. okay? russia. i call it the russian hoax. >> for more on the year that was, i want to bring back former florida republican congressman david jolley and msnbc contributor and host of the remix on whyy radio in philadelphia, james peterson. let me start with you, james. the most important story of 2017. what was it? >> well, i would agree with the list there except that i would expand the russia investigation to include a few more things. i think it has to do more with what the impact was from outside forces and external forces on the 2016 election. that includes the possibility of russia collusion and also includes the role that social media played and whether russia manipulated social media in that roll and voter disenfranchisement affected the key swing states and also the twin investigations from the fbi. one that we heard about involving hillary clinton and
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one that we did not hear about involving candidate trump at that time. all of the sort of external forces that impacted the 2016 election seem to be the biggest story of the year. >> david jolley, your pick for most important story of the year? >> so many. from a national security standpoint, the rise of a nuclear-armed north korea confronting a volatile and immature at times u.s. president. certainly something of concern. but listen, there's something about the me, too, movement that's important. obviously, to move to a cultural conversation about accountability, but in the -- an interesting thing happened this year, craig. it escaped donald trump. we saw political figures fall. we saw entertainment figures fall and business figures fall. donald trump, we know, has passed. we know his own admissions. the me, too, movement was one of the greatest movements this year but somehow it escaped capturing donald trump in it. >> and the me, too, movement we're watching it play out there in alabama as that, again, that judge has just shot down roy
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moore's 11th hour hail mary, if you will. underreported story of 2017, james. what would you say is one that managed to escape us? >> i think it's striking that the massacre in las vegas was not on that top ten list. imagine the world we live in where someone could kill scores of people and injured hundreds and not be on the list. but to me, the story that we're really missing under the trump mushroom of stories is the systematic degradation of american institutions. the department of justice, our intelligence agencies, the epa, congress itself, media itself. all of these american institutions have been undermined and deliberately subverted by this administration. we just haven't been paying enough attention to it. >> i would go back to las vegas, your point on that. it's also very interesting to me that we still don't have a concrete motive in that case. we still don't know precisely why it was that more than --
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>> and bump stocks are still being sold. still being manufactured and sold. >> mr. jolley there, your underreported story, sir? >> really under the radar, and i say this in context, is the success of the bread and butter gop ajgenagenda. largely a deregulatory agenda in the environment, health care, labor, tack on to that a pro-business tax plan. listen, craig, elections are defined by creating contrast between parties and candidates. republicans actually can go into '18 painting a very strong contrast between their agenda and that of democrats. it will be up to voters which agenda they embrace. >> you raise a good point there. i didn't fully appreciate precisely how many obama-era agenda items if you will, had been rolled back until peter's piece there. tpp, the paris accords, of course, the individual mandate coming next. so, david jolley, thank you, sir. james peterson, thank you. and happy new year to both of
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you. >> happy new year, craig. again, in just a few minutes, alabama is expected to make doug jones' win over roy moore official. that is expected at the top of the hour. just a few moments ago, word that a judge has tossed roy moore's latest challenge out. we're watching thismontgomery, . we're going to keep you posted on that.
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that is going to wrap up this hour of msnbc live. i'll see you tonight on "nightly news." katy tur is standing by to pick things up from now. doug jones is expected to be certified the winner of alabama's special election, but not without a last-minute challenge from roy moore and the legal challenge from judge moore was just rejected by another judge. we're going to have that announcement as it happens. it's been a little over two weeks since the republican candidate rode to the polls on a horse named sassy to cast a vote for himself for senate. we all know how that ended. doug jones won the race by some 20,000 votes becoming the state's first democratic voter in 25 years. moore, who has refused to concedes has now filed an election complaint alleging voter fraud may be the reason he lost. today, jones responded by filing a motion to dismiss that complaint. msnbc's garrett haake joins me from west palm beach, florida,
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traveling with the president. this is, obviously, garrett, a senate seat that plagued the president. first, he endorsed luther strange. luther strange lost in that primary. then he endorsed roy moore. even after roy moore was credibly accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct. and then roy moore lost. how is the white house responding now to his refusal to concede? >> well, the white house has been amongst all other republicans over the last few days telling roy moore this thing is over and it's time to get out of this race. time to pack up. time to go away. time to admit defeat. every day that roy moore remains a national figure. so it's an open wound for the republican party. he has proven to be so divisive and so radioactive to the republican brand. folks i talk to over the last week or two, even at the rnc and the nrsc, folks on capitol hill wouldn't wait for roy moore

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